Mets activate Flores from DL, option Reynolds

Mets activate Flores from DL, option Reynolds

NEW YORK -- The Mets activated Wilmer Flores from the disabled list Sunday and immediately inserted him into the lineup. With David Wright nursing neck inflammation for the second consecutive day, Flores started at third base and batted sixth against the Dodgers.

The Mets optioned Matt Reynolds to Triple-A Las Vegas in a corresponding roster move.

Flores, who suffered a left hamstring strain May 9, had been prepping to assume the Mets' first-base job on a platoon basis with newly acquired James Loney. Wright's injury now complicates that. Had Wright been available Sunday, Flores would have likely started at first in place of Eric Campbell, who instead made his ninth straight start at the position. The Mets kept Flores on his rehab assignment at Double-A Binghamton two extra days to allow him more practice at first.

Wright could be out for a couple of days after taking 48-hour anti-inflammatory medication for his neck. When he returns, Flores will start seeing time at first against left-handed pitching.

Loney, a left-handed hitter and excellent fielder, could join the team as early as Monday and is expected to be activated Tuesday.

"Loney is a tremendous kid; he'll really help Flo," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He'll show him positioning on the bag and certain things."

For now, though, they need him at third.

Flores, who went 4-for-14 with an RBI on his rehab assignment, was actually a first baseman when he started playing baseball in Venezuela.

"But you can't compare playing in the Majors to when you are 10 years old," Flores said. "No, it doesn't count."

In the decade-plus since, Flores has played just 25 games at first base, including 23 in the Minors. Flores said he didn't even remember playing first in the Minors prior to the three rehab starts he made with Binghamton.

Flores played his first two Major League games at first base in April. He made an error in his second game after ranging too far in front of second baseman Neil Walker on a routine grounder. Such natural kinks, the Mets believe, will be ironed out in time and with experience.

"I'll get more comfortable and gain more confidence," Flores said.

Flores is still trying to dig out of an early-season slump at the plate. He was hitting .180 with one homer and two RBIs entering Sunday night.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.